A midget hockey team may have lost its equipment in Phoenix, but the players gained respect for two NHL teams who came to their rescue.
The South Side Athletic Club team from Edmonton, Alberta, woke up Sunday morning to find a trailer containing all of its hockey gear had been stolen from a hotel parking lot in Peoria, Ariz., according to the Edmonton Journal.
Without the equipment, the team would’ve had to forfeit two games on Sunday at the Cactus Cup tournament it was competing in. Instead, the team was able to go on thanks to help from the Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes.
The parent of a player on the team got in touch with the Oilers, who called Coyotes’ head equipment manager Stan Wilson asking for help.
Wilson was able to pull together a complete set of gear for the players — except goalie equipment.
“Just bits and pieces here and there, some new, some used,” Wilson told the Journal. “You want to help the kids out. They came all the way to Phoenix to play hockey and somebody takes their trailer. I’m sure the people who took it don’t even know what was in it.”
The team estimated the lost gear cost about $50,000, parent Victor Stamp told the Journal.
“It’s very disappointing, of course, but we’ve been treated royally and everybody has really come together for us. You have to be thankful for that,” Stamp said.
Unfortunately, the kids will have to leave their loaned gear behind in Arizona before heading back to Canada on Monday.
But the team will be leaving with a warm impression of the Phoenix hockey community, parent Cara Stamp told the Journal.
“Regardless of the outcome, I think it’s pretty cool that they’re actually going out in Phoenix Coyote jerseys,” she said. “Really, it brings a tear to my eye when you think about what they actually did for these 16-year-old kids who are just trying to play hockey in Phoenix.”
Parents now are worried about spending the roughly $3,000 it costs to replace the equipment for each player with playoffs only a few days away.